The More Uncommon

Everyone has heard of mental illnesses throughout their life or maybe have experienced it. Mental Illness, or Mental Health, affects the way you think, handle stress , relate to others and make choices. Mental illnesses can be triggered by past experiences or genes. Having a mental problem is really common so treatment is easily found. Something that is not common however is some actual mental health cases. I’m sure we have heard of Depression, Anxiety or maybe Schizophrenia. But, yes there is a but, have you ever heard of Alexithymia? What about Hysteria? Or even Paranoia Schizophrenia ? I am here to raise awareness for ALL mental illnesses. I care about this topic because I not only have friends who have some of the following mental illnesses or the more common ones but I too also have a mental illness. I have Paranoid Personality Disorder. A person with paranoid personality disorder will almost always believe that others are trying to harm or kill them whether or not there is evidence to prove it.

More people suffer from mental illnesses than we think.

Hysteria is a psychological disorder that basically turns stress into symptoms. It gives the patient an unmanageable amount of emotional access, going as far as possibly numbing different body parts. People with Hysteria set aside their emotional problems from even themselves and involuntarily develop different tactics and symptoms to protect themselves from facing these problems. Originally, Hysteria used to be called “Female Hysteria” as the term hysteria was once used to describe a medical condition thought to affect only women. The term hysteria even came from the Greek word hysteria which means “uterus.” Hysteria can also give the patient very acute senses, due to a dissociation of the patient from their mind, leaving them in complete control of their body’s function and reflexes.

Sometimes patients will be asked by their doctor or therapist to describe how they feel and they can not. It’s not because they do not want to, it’s because they do not know how to. Alexithymia literal translation is the lack of words for emotions. Not many have heard of Alexithymia as it is very rare. Only 8% of males and 25 of females experience alexithymia Discovered in 1972, Alexithymia is not considered a diagnosis but a way for patients to easier describe their experiences. Alexithymia has been confused has been confused as depression, autism or even schizophrenia. Because patients with Alexithymia have a difficulty expressing their emotions to others and so are often left to leave emotions bottled up. This normally leads to depression, self harm or more common suicide.

This is a simplified version of what Alexithymia is that I felt was necessary to include.

Right now I am hoping I will raise awareness to people that mental illnesses are not just Depression and Anxiety. That there is more to the list. My only question for this entire thing is how many people will actually remember this information and keep it in their mind that mental illnesses are more complicated that they seem.


Comments (2)

Christopher Irwin-Diehl (Student 2018)
Christopher Irwin-Diehl

I think this is a great idea for a project! So many mental illnesses and disorders get swept under the rug because of the more popular ones hogging the spotlight, and it's great to see you trying to even out the awareness, and, "to raise awareness for ALL mental illnesses." One thing I would suggest is just reread to check for grammatical and spelling errors (trivial, I know). Seriously though, I'm looking forward to seeing how you raise this awareness. Keep up the awesome!

Gabriel Copeland (Student 2018)
Gabriel Copeland

I personally know many people who deal with mental illness and I really think that this is a topic that needs more understanding. Not necessarily healing or curing but just exposure to. The real personal fact that you said you deal with these types of problems really adds another level of strength to this topic. I really feel included in this as I deal with a number of mental issues and this topic and further work will be opening in some manner. I really am looking forward to your part 3 and see what you have in store to spread awareness.